So Solid Sells
Sales indicators show that South London collective So Solid Crew is likely to enter the U.K. charts at No. 1 with its sophomore single, “21 Seconds.”
The extensive crew counts amongst its assets a DJ agency, two record labels (Papermoney and So Solid Beats), a promotional division, distribution company, and a radio station (Delight FM) — all under the So Solid Entertainment banner. The group recently held a party to celebrate the completion of a pricey video for “21 Seconds,” so titled because it features 30 of crew’s members, each of whom make a 21 second contribution.
Arising out of the British U.K. garage scene, So Solid have emerged in the mold of a kind of teenage 2-step Wu-Tang Clan, comprising London DJs, MCs, vocalists, and producers. This single follows last year’s massive hit, “Oh No (Sentimental Things),” the crew’s debut on Ministry’s Relentless Records affiliate.
SSC is lead by founding member MC Megaman, and also features up front contributions from members Romeo and lead vocalist Lisa Maffia. It also includes DJ Oxide and MC Neutrino, who are currently enjoying major success with their single “Devil’s Nightmare” (East West), which features in the “Tomb Raider” movie soundtrack.
Denmark-based duo Brother Brown follows up its inimitable 1999 single “Under the Water” with another belting track, “Star Catching Girl” — again featuring Danish Grammy award-winning vocalist Maria Frank. Due in September on Ministry’s Rulin’ Records, the track is already moving dancefloors with Brother Brown’s soaring Euro-vocal hallmark.
The duo was founded in 1995 by Danish producers Atle Thorberg and Henrik Olsen, who met at a warehouse party in Copenhagen. In the summer of 1998, DMC’s Austin Wilde contacted them after spotting “Under the Water” on various DJ charts and managed to get it aired on Pete Tong’s influential Radio 1 “Essential Selection” show. A label bidding war followed from which London Records emerged victorious, eventually taking “Under the Water” to No. 18 on the U.K. singles chart.
Brother Brown has also remixed the likes of the Pet Shop Boys, Deep Dish, and Danny Tenaglia. The double-pack vinyl release of “Star Catching Girl” features remixes by Sander Kleinberg, Christian Smith and John Selway, and Funkstar Deluxe.
The 2001 U.K. DMC/Technics Mixing Championships Team Finals will take place Aug. 30 at the Scala club in London’s Kings Cross. Organizers promise the U.K.’s most exciting DJ crews will battle against defending U.K. champions the Mixologists. The winners will go through to September’s world finals, which will also be held in London at the Hammersmith Apollo.
Return Of The Grandmaster
The end of October will see the release “The Official Adventures of Grandmaster Flash” on London-based independent label Strut Records. The album tells the Grandmaster Flash story prior to his worldwide commercial success. Featuring a selection of original Bronx MC’s, Flash cuts up underground disco, funk, and B-Boy classics.
To promote the album, Grandmaster Flash, who has not played in London in more than five years, will DJ a rare one-off date Sept. 14 at the Electrowerx club in North London. Strut, which also compiled and released last year’s critically acclaimed “Paradise Garage” album, will host the event. Other guest spinners will include D.J Pogo and the Nextmen.
The Italian invasion continues, with Andrea Calcagnini, Marco Scire and Sergio Casu, who will as Rollerblade release the track “(When I’ve Done) My First Hit” (Pepper Records) Aug. 13 in the U.K.
Casu, better known as Sergione, ran Disco Inn, an infamous independent record store in Italy; Calcagnini, a DJ from the Marche region, was one of his customers. Last March they got together in a studio to do some recording.
Danny Rampling, David Morales, and Pete Tong have all picked up on this track, which first surfaced at the WMC earlier this year in Miami.